Two Andover Graduates Commemorate Military Service with Memorial Day ASM

At Monday’s special Memorial Day All-School Meeting, Andover students listened to Seth Moulton ’97 recount his experiences in Iraq. Moulton joined the military after graduating from Harvard University. With years of training under his belt, Moulton was promoted to infantry platoon commander in Iraq. Moulton also served as the manager of an Iraqi television channel and radio station when he was stationed in Iraq. During his speech, Moulton spoke of his life-changing experience in the military. “I saw terrible things that I will never forget. I also saw incredible joys that I will always remember. I don’t think life is ever the same after you’ve been shot at,” Moulton said. “Personally, I thought it was wonderful that Seth came. He was in the active armed forces recently and is connected to this school, and could remember the transition from sitting in the chapel pews to [serving] in the frontline in Iraq,” said Rev. Anne Gardner, Director of Religious and Spiritual Life. The ASM also featured Walker Washburn ’08, who currently attends the United States Naval Academy. Washburn read a proclamation from General John Logan, who was a general in the Union during the Civil War. Logan helped to establish Memorial Day to commemorate the lives of army men who died in the Civil War. Memorial Day is now a national holiday to pay tribute to those who have died in military service. “I [hope people] gain some insight as to why Memorial Day is important,” said Washburn. “It was a little overwhelming [to address the entire community], but it was an important message.” Carlos Hoyt, ASM Coordinator and Dean of Students, organized the special Memorial Day service. Gardner said that Hoyt was “really conscientious about celebrating Memorial Day on Memorial Day, [rather than during the normal ASM slot].” “One of the great things about Memorial Day is that you can look at it through the lens of the person who actually served and the ripples of that: how it affects people who love them, their family and colleagues,” said Gardner. She said that she focused on the emotional toll on family members of a soldier in the armed forces. “As somebody that grew up in a military family, Memorial Day is very important to me. I was very honored to have [been asked to speak at the ASM],” added Gardner. “I thought [Moulton’s speech] was a big wakeup call,” said Edith Young ’11. She said that in a school where students are so competitive, Mouton illustrated the importance of “non sibi” in the community. Trevor Braun ’10 found the message of Moulton’s speech, that students should give back to the community, inspirational. He said, “I liked how [Moulton] related to Andover kids and how some sort of public service is a good idea.” After the ASM, students and faculty were invited to wear the names of veterans who were Andover graduates, in remembrance of their life and in recognition of their service.